Speculation has reached fever-pitch in France that the country's former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, is poised to make a political comeback.
Bernadette Chirac, the wife of Jacques Chirac, who preceded Sarkozy as president and a staunch supporter of Sarkozy, told French radio she "certainly" hoped Sarkozy would stand as a candidate in the 2017 presidential elections.
"I certainly hope so," she said in a live interview with Europe 1 radio on Wednesday, before adding that she had been forbidden to say anything more on the matter.
The journalist interviewing Chirac pushed the matter, saying "We understand that the answer is yes..." Chirac replied: "Right….of course."
(Read more: Could France see the return of Nicolas Sarkozy?)
Sarkozy was president between May 2007 and May 2012, before being defeated by the current socialist president, Francois Hollande. While Sarkozy has never admitted to eyeing a return to the Elysee Palace, many expect the former leader of the center-right UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) to try and reclaim his position in the directionless and troubled party.
The interview by Chirac – the wife of Jacques Chirac, who preceded Sarkozy as president --came only one day after Sarkozy's latest publicity stunt – a return to social media platform Instagram after more than a year away. Many commentators in the French media interpreted the move as the launch of a pre-presidential campaign communication strategy.